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‘Price: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4’

Fort Smith Symphony / John Jeter

Naxos Records

Finally, African-American composer Florence Price is getting mainstream attention for her beautifully wrought orchestral compositions. This Naxos release includes two of her symphonies, one of which was only recently discovered and is shared for the first time on this recording.

From Naxos:

“Florence Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and studied at the New England Conservatory, but it was in Chicago that her composing career accelerated. The concert in 1933 at which her Symphony in E minor was premiered was the first time a major American orchestra had performed a piece written by an African American woman. Influenced by Dvorak and Coleridge-Taylor, she drew on the wellspring of Negro spirituals and vernacular dances, full of lyricism and syncopation. The Symphony No. 4 in D minor demonstrates her tight ensemble writing, her distinct sense of orchestral color, her Ellingtonian ‘jungle style’ language and her penchant for the ‘juba’ dance.

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